Beauty & Fashion

One Way to Plan a Summer Wardrobe

May 13, 2024

It’s not happening yet in Chicago, but I understand that much of the world is already living with hot weather – too soon for me! 

July is too soon for hot weather, for me. I could live in an Arctic climate, I swear…

If you wear a uniform much of the time, or you just are efficient with your clothes, you don’t need a huge wardrobe for any season. Remember the Weekly Timeless Wardrobe? This is what I suggested for a core summer wardrobe from that scheme:

Unless you’ve completely changed sizes, or all of your clothes were destroyed, you probably already have at least a few things for summer. This is a plan to help make sure that you can actually get dressed every day – a guide to filling in the gaps!

Okay, if you just moved to Chicago from north of the Arctic Circle, you might need everything!

I picked navy and white as our neutrals, with a coral accent. Easy, classic, timeless.

The first cluster might look like this:

Now is the time to think of what accessories you will need/want to wear with these things – I’m starting our heroine with sandals, a wee bag, and pretty earrings:

Our next cluster – with navy linen pants – includes a quite expensive top. I’m thinking that this is going to be our heroine’s “go-to” garment for dressing up all summer long. Yes, people will see it more than once – it’s not her job to have an infinite wardrobe for the entertainment of others…

Of course her navy sandals would be great here, but I thought maybe espadrilles would also come in handy. A scarf to tie back her hair? And some navy earrings…

Yes, this dress is a swimsuit coverup – does it matter? Unless it’s made of some ghastly material that won’t be comfortable worn on its own, I say it’s a dress too! And yes, a sweater vest – aka a sleeveless sweater. The more we can wear garments through the entire year, the less we have to buy, and we can justify beautiful things…

Hmmm… that striped sleeveless top in the 2nd cluster might be gorgeous with a navy mid-calf skirt and navy sandals for the holidays. 

Everyone should have a sunhat! And are your sneakers in need of a good cleaning, or maybe replacement?

Just like that, our heroine has a tidy wardrobe that would be hard to wear badly… What’s the worst possible outfit you could assemble from this:

Just for reassurance, here are a half-dozen outfits:

If you’re thinking that this group of 13 garments could be a useful concept for any season, you’re right – here’s the “seasonless” list of things that I included:

And the list for the entire year looks like this:

Imagine how the world would look if we all were somehow able to whittle our wardrobes down this much!

I’m nowhere near this level of efficiency, but I can dream, and plan…



p.s. Ten years ago, we shared a travel wardrobe based on Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring.” Interesting challenge…

One Way to Plan a Summer Wardrobe

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